DemDaily: Game of Guns

October 30, 2018

The tragic, anti-Semitic shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday, which killed 11 and injured seven, was a stark reminder of the importance of the issue of gun safety in the November 6thelections -- now just seven days away.

The People: In a Pew Research Center survey conducted September 24-October 7th, 72% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said gun violence is a very big problem facing the U.S., compared with 29% of Republicans and Republican leaners.

The Players
As of October 17th, gun rights groups, like the National Rifle Association (NRA), have outspent gun control organizations by eight to one in contributions to members of Congress.

Everytown for Gun Safety, founded by former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, spent $5 million in digital ads targeting 15 House races (click)

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, pro-gun groups have contributed $3,480,166 to Members of Congress, including $2,441,953 to 208 Republicans and seven Democrats in the House, and $499,670 to 28 Republicans and four Democrats in the Senate.

Alternatively, gun control advocates have contributed a total of $462,213 to 55 House Members (7 R/48D) and 23 Senators (1R/1Ind/22D).

However, gun control advocates have surpassed gun rights groups in outside spending to elections, spending a reported $20.2 million to the pro-gun groups' $14.1 million.

Thanks in large part to the funding of former New York City Mayor and Everytown for Gun Safety founder Michael Bloomberg, gun control organizations have the monetary advantage for the first time in two decades.

The Pittsburgh shooting had "little to do" with US gun laws. "If they had protection inside, maybe it could have been a different situation." -- President Donald Trump

The Victims
Of the twenty deadliest shootings in American history, eighteen have occurred in the last twenty years.

Vigil for victims of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting October 27th (JohnAltdorfer/ Reuters)

October 27, 2018Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Tree of Life Synagogue. Killed 11, Injured 7  *  May 18, 2018: Santa Fe, Texas, Santa Fe High School. Killed 10, Injured 10  *  February 15, 2018: Parkland, Florida, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Killed 17, Injured 12+  *  November 5, 2017: Sutherland Springs, TexasFirst Baptist Church. Killed 26, Injured 20  *  October 1, 2017: Las Vegas , Nevada,
Route 91 Music Festival. Killed 58, Injured 500+  *  June 12, 2016Orlando, Florida, Pulse Nightclub. Killed 49, Injured 50+ *  December 2, 2015: San Bernardino, CaliforniaInland Regional Center. Killed 14, Injured 22 *  October 1, 2015Roseburg, Oregon, Umpqua Community College. Killed 9, Injured 9 * June 17, 2015: Charleston, South Carolina, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Killed 9, Injured 1 * September 16, 2013 Washington, DC, Washington Navy Yard.  Killed 12, Injured 8  *  December 14, 2012Newton, Connecticut, Sandy Hook Elementary. Killed 27, including 20 children age 6-7. Injured 2  *   July 20, 2012:  Aurora, Colorado, Century 16 Movie Theatre. Killed 12, Injured 70  * November 5, 2009Killeen, Texas, Fort Hood Military Base. Killed 13, Injured 42  *  April 3, 2009Binghamton, New York, New York Immigrant Centre. Killed 13, Injured 4  * March 10, 2009: Geneva County, Alabama. McLendon massacre. Killed 10, Injured 6  *  April 16, 2007Blacksburg, Virginia, Virginia Tech. Killed 32, Injured 23  *  July 29, 1999Atlanta, Georgia, Brockerage Houses. Killed 12, Injured 12  *April 20, 1999: Littleton, ColoradoColumbine High School. Killed: 13, Injured 24.

The Decision Makers
The last major piece of gun control legislation to make it into law was the 1994 assault weapons ban, passed as part of a larger crime-related bill approved by Congress and signed by then-President Bill Clinton. But the ban, which applied to the manufacture of 19 specific models of semi-automatic firearms and other guns with similar features, expired in 2004, and repeated attempts to renew it have failed.

The Voters
Don't forget the victims when you go to the ballot box.

DemList will keep you informed.


DemDaily: The Deadly Debate 10/4/17


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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: BBC, Center for Responsive Politics/Open Secrets, Reuters, GunViolenceArchive, FEC

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